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BIG NEWS: Nation’s Top Mayors To Ban Taxpayer Funded Purchasing from North Carolina and Mississippi

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Anti-LGBT Laws Fuel Further Backlash Nationwide

Ten mayors from some of the nation’s largest cities will ban the use of taxpayer funds not only for official travel to North Carolina and Mississippi, but ban the use of taxpayer funds to purchase goods and services from companies located in those two states. The boycott is a direct response to governors in North Carolina and Mississippi signing into law legislation that discriminates against LGBT people. The mayors have joined together to create a new group, Mayors Against Discrimination.

Truly a nationwide effort, the founding members of the group are New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (photo), Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales, Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.

“Some are trying to turn back the clock to a deeply flawed time in our history,” Mayor de Blasio said, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 

“By joining together in this effort, we are creating a coalition of mayors across the country to combat discrimination of any kind and to protect civil rights everywhere,” Mayor Murray added.

“We as Mayors must stand up together and call out discrimination when we see it, and I believe working together we can create change to ensure the rights of all Americans,” said San Francisco’s Mayor Lee.

The group will also “develop model resolutions that can be adopted by city councils and other legislative bodies, and other measures that mayors and cities can take individually and collectively,” The Bay Area Reporter reports. 

They say they will also “work with private sector leaders and companies, like Marc Benioff from Salesforce, Wells Fargo, Starbucks and hundreds of others to apply direct political and economic pressure to repeal or stop the alarming spread of discriminatory laws in the United States.”

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory’s HB2 voids all local LGBT nondiscrimination ordinances, bans transgender people from using public restrooms that conform to their gender identity, and removes local control over minimum wages and employment discrimination by mandating only state lawmakers are allowed to legislate in those critical areas.

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant’s HB 1523 writes religious discrimination into law, allowing anyone to refuse LGBT people service if doing so would violate their sincerely held religious beliefs.

 

EARLIER:

Breaking: South Carolina Senator Introduces Bill He Says Mirrors North Carolina Anti-LGBT Bill HB2

NC GOP Lawmaker Who Wrote Anti-LGBT Bill Blames Charlotte Mayor For PayPal Canceling 400 New Jobs

One Day After Gov. McCrory Signed Anti-LGBT Law Top Studio Moved 100 North Carolina Jobs to Canada

 

Image by brklyn is over via Flickr and a CC license

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CORRUPTION

RNC Chair Asked Nominee for $500,000 in Possible Pay-to-Play Scheme for Ambassadorship: Report

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Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel appears to be enmeshed in an possible pay-to-play scheme, asking a nominee for $500,000 after his ambassadorship nomination ran into trouble.

When the confirmation for President Donald Trump’s ambassador to the Bahamas stalled in the Senate, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Rona McDaniel dashed off an email to the nominee, San Diego billionaire Doug Manchester.

“Would you consider putting together $500,000 worth of contributions from your family to ensure we hit our ambitious fundraising goal?” McDaniel wrote in an email, according to CBS News, which reports the email came “as his confirmation in the Senate hung in the balance.”

Manchester, who had donated $1 million to Trump’s inauguration fund, replied quickly.

“As you know I am not supposed to do any, but my wife is sending a contribution for $100,000,” he wrote. “Assuming I get voted out of the [Foreign Relations Committee] on Wednesday to the floor we need you to have the majority leader bring it to a majority vote … Once confirmed, I our [sic] family will respond!”

Related: Payday Lender Accidentally Exposes Corrupt Pay-to-Play Scheme Between RNC and White House

CBS spoke with Manchester, telling him, “You know what this looks like.”

“Well — it looks like it to you. But it’s not the facts,” Manchester responded. “My wife gave out of separate funds and she in fact loves Donald Trump.”

Manchester told CBS it’s just “part of politics.”

“You give and you give and you give and you give some more and more and more,” he said.

He ultimately was forced to withdraw.

This is not the first ambassador nominee who has given huge sums to the RNC or to team Trump. Gordon Sondland, who is at the center of the Ukraine scandal, became Trump’s ambassador to the European Union despite having no experience for the role. He also gave Trump’s inauguration committee $1 million. The New Republic reports many of Trump’s ambassadors are high-dollar donors.

Among them, Kelly Knight Craft, who is now the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, “donated $1 million alongside her husband.”

 

 

 

 

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PENCE KNEW

No Way Pence Didn’t Know What Trump Was Up to in Ukraine After Aide’s Revelations: CNN Panel

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A CNN panel discussion on testimony given by a top aide to Vice President Mike Pence said her revelations about what she knew about President Donald Trump’s Ukraine dealings can only mean Pence knew and is lying.

Speaking with New Day hosts John Berman and Alisyn Camerota, contributor Kaitlan Collins stated Jennifer Williams’ description of Trump’s Ukraine phone call was expected to set Trump off, which it did when the president raged at her on Sunday as a “Never Trumper.”

“We kind of saw this coming, that they anticipated the president could be frustrated by her testimony,” Collins explained. “Because in the weeks before, when she was going to testify behind closed doors, we saw them distancing themselves from her. Yes, she works in our office, but she’s the State Department employee detailed to our office.”

Collins added Williams, “was on the call with the president. She traveled with Pence when he went to Warsaw to meet with the Ukrainian president.”

“She’s not some low-level staffer,” she continued. “She’s also not an eager witness. No one even realized she was on the call until someone else on the call named her to house investigators, that’s why she was called to testify in the first place.”

Former White House official Joe Lockhart jumped int to say Pence had to know what William had heard during the call.

“I think the other thing about Jennifer Williams, and it’s not getting as much attention, is she does place Vice President Pence in an awkward position,” Lockhart suggested. “He either has to argue he doesn’t read his briefing book, doesn’t listen to his staff, or I was in on this. It’s one or the other. So far he’s escaped scrutiny here, but he was briefed on his way to Warsaw by her and apparently, it was in his briefing book”

Watch below:

 

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COVERUP?

Trump’s Alleged ‘Checkup’ at Walter Reed Was ‘Non-Routine and Scheduled Last Minute’: Report

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President Donald Trump’s unexpected trip to Walter Reed medical center did not follow “routine” protocols for a presidential medical exam, CNN’s Jeremy Diamond reported on Sunday.

A source familiar with Trump’s visit to the hospital told Diamond that staff was not notified prior to the president’s visit.

President Donald Trump’s visit to Walter Reed on Saturday did not follow the protocol of a routine presidential medical exam, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Medical staff at Walter Reed did not get a staff-wide notice about a presidential visit to the medical center in Bethesda, Maryland, ahead of Trump’s arrival, according to that source.

During normal circumstances, medical center staff would have received instructions about a “VIP” visit ahead of time.

“That did not happen this time, indicating the visit was a non-routine visit and scheduled last minute,” Diamond reported.

A second source also told CNN that the trip to Walter Reed was “abnormal.”

The White House is on record insisting that the visit was part of the president’s annual “routine” physical exam.

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